14 Jun 2015

Crusade over for McCaw and Carter

2:44 pm on 14 June 2015

The Crusaders stalwarts, All Blacks Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, have finished their Super Rugby careers with a 37-24 win over the Brumbies in Canberra.

Richie McCaw and Dan Carter.

Richie McCaw and Dan Carter. Photo: Photosport

The victory lifted the Crusaders into seventh place on the table, just short of the Brumbies in sixth and a berth in the playoffs.

It's the first time the Crusaders have missed the post-season since 2001.

The Wallaby David Pocock opened the scoring for the Brumbies in the first half before the Crusaders winger Nemani Nandolo scored a brace, and Matt Todd dotted down, to give the visitors a 21-10 half time lead.

The Brumbies returned fire in the second half scoring a try to Jarrad Butler and a penalty try through rolling mauls.

The Crusaders answered with a rolling maul of their own that yielded a penalty try and a 13 point margin of victory.

The Crusaders ended an era with a victory that ensured the Brumbies will need to go on the road throughout the playoffs if they are to win their third title.

The Crusaders won four of their last five games but missed out on the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.

The match in Canberra was the last appearance for All Black first-five Dan Carter, who is going to play in France after this year's World Cup, while All Black captain Richie McCaw is expected to retire at the conclusion of the global tournament.

Carter slotted 17 points with the boot, while flanker Matt Todd became the first forward to score a try in five successive Super Rugby games.

The Brumbies scored all three of their tries from rolling mauls with flankers David Pocock, who left the game late in the first half with concussion, and Jarrad Butler smashing over, while they were also awarded a penalty try despite Butler having the ball under control and crashing over.

Christian Lealiifano slotted three conversions and a penalty for the Brumbies, who had got back to 27-24 with 15 minutes remaining.

Referee Jaco Peyper, however, then gave the Crusaders a penalty try after they got their own rolling maul working with seven minutes remaining.